FDA Basics: Dr. Linda Katz Talks about keeping Cosmetics and Colors Safe

FDA Basics: Dr. Linda Katz Talks about keeping Cosmetics and Colors Safe


>>SO, WHAT DOES YOUR OFFICE DO?>>MY OFFICE REGULATES COSMETICS
AND COLORS THAT ARE MARKETED IN THE UNITED STATES.>>WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?>>BASICALLY, WHAT WE DO IS,
WE ASSURE THAT COSMETICS THAT ARE USED IN THE UNITED STATES
ARE SAFE. WE GO THROUGH AND WE CREATE
REGULATIONS, GUIDANCES, GIVE ADVICE TO CONSUMERS AND
CONSTITUENTS ABOUT COSMETICS THEMSELVES. WE ALSO LOOK AT COLORS, AND WE
CERTIFY ALL COLORS THAT ARE USED IN COSMETICS, DEVICES, FOODS,
FOR USE IN THE U.S.>>WHAT DOES THAT MEAN, YOU HAVE
TO CERTIFY COLORS? WHAT COULD BE A PROBLEM
WITH COLORS?>>WELL, COLORS MAY CONTAIN
HEAVY METALS. THEY MAY ALSO CONTAIN OTHER
CONTAMINATES THAT MAY CREATE PROBLEMS, SO WHAT WE DO IS,
WE CERTIFY THEM FOR USE IN THE APPROPRIATE VENUE THAT THEY
WILL BE USED IN.>>SO HOW DO YOU KNOW IF THERE’S
A PROBLEM WITH A COLOR? IS IT SOMETHING INTRINSIC ABOUT
THE COLOR ITSELF AND THE WAY ONE GETS A YELLOW OR A MAGENTA
OR A GREEN?>>NO, WHAT WE ACTUALLY DO IS,
WE ANALYZE THEM IN THE LABORATORY FOR HEAVY METALS
AND FOR OTHER POSSIBLE CONTAMINANTS THAT MIGHT BE
THERE. WHEN YOU LOOK AT A COLOR —
SAY, YELLOW — IT’S NOT NECESSARILY ONE YELLOW COLOR
THAT’S THERE, BUT IT’S A MULTITUDE OF DIFFERENT
PIGMENTS THAT COME TOGETHER TO MAKE A PARTICULAR COLOR.>>SO THOSE PIGMENTS MAY CONTAIN
VARIOUS THINGS THAT COULD BE PROBLEMATIC?>>THEY COULD, AND THAT’S WHAT
WE LOOK FOR.>>WHAT ABOUT IN COSMETICS AND
COSMETIC SAFETY?>>WHAT WE DO IS, FOR COSMETICS
THEMSELVES, AS OPPOSED TO DRUGS, WE REGULATE IN A POST-MARKET
ARENA. WHAT THAT MEANS IS THAT WE DON’T
GET TO SEE AN APPLICATION FOR A COSMETIC OR AN INGREDIENT
BEFORE THE COSMETIC IS MARKETED, BUT WHAT WE DO IS WE LOOK AT
THE SAFETY ISSUES ONCE IT’S ON THE MARKETPLACE, AND WE’LL GO
AHEAD AND WE’LL ASSESS INFORMATION THAT COMES TO US
FROM INDUSTRY, FROM CONSUMERS, FROM OTHERS. WE’LL GO THROUGH THE LITERATURE
TO CHECK TO SEE ABOUT SAFETY ISSUES, AND WE ALSO DO OUR OWN
RESEARCH. WHAT WE DO ARE SURVEYS OF
DIFFERENT INGREDIENTS ON DIFFERENT PRODUCTS THAT ARE
MARKETED.>>SO DOES THAT MEAN THAT
THE FDA AND FOLKS IN YOUR OFFICE ACTUALLY GO OUT AND BUY
SOME COSMETICS AS WELL AND TEST THEM AS WELL AS RECEIVE REPORTS
FROM INDUSTRY AND FROM CONSUMERS?>>WE MAY. AND IN SOME CASES, WE’LL GO OUT
AND BUY CERTAIN PRODUCTS, OR I’LL GO TO THE DRUGSTORE OR TO
A FOOD STORE WHERE THEY SELL COSMETICS, LOOK AT THE
INGREDIENT LISTS, AND WHAT WE MAY ALSO DO IS TO CONTRACT WITH
OUTSIDE SOURCES TO DO SURVEYS FOR US, WHERE THEY’LL GO AND
PICK UP A LARGER SPECTRUM OF DIFFERENT KINDS OF SAMPLES OF
PRODUCTS TO BE ABLE TO ANALYZE FOR US.>>I THINK, WHEN FOLKS THINK OF
THE FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION, THEY THINK OF
FOOD AND THEY THINK OF DRUGS BUT DON’T NECESSARILY THINK ABOUT
COSMETICS, BUT THERE ARE LITERALLY THOUSANDS OF THEM
OUT THERE, RIGHT?>>OH, THAT’S CORRECT. AND ACTUALLY THERE ARE PROBABLY
MORE THINGS OUT THERE THAT ARE COSMETIC THAN WHAT PEOPLE
REALLY THINK.>>SUCH AS?>>WELL, THERE ARE A VARIETY OF
PRODUCTS THAT ARE MARKETED NOW THAT, BETWEEN OTC DRUGS AND
COSMETICS, THAT, DEPENDING UPON HOW A CLAIM IS MADE, WOULD
DETERMINE WHETHER OR NOT A PRODUCT MAY BE A COSMETIC
OR A DRUG. AN EXAMPLE WOULD BE TOOTHPASTE. TOOTHPASTES THAT ARE JUST
DESIGNED TO MAKE YOUR TEETH APPEAR NICER BUT DON’T CONTAIN
FLUORIDE WOULD BE A COSMETIC. THOSE THAT CONTAIN FLUORIDE
WOULD BE REGULATED AS A DRUG. THERE ARE CERTAIN SHAMPOOS THAT
ARE JUST THERE TO CLEANSE. THAT WOULD BE COSMETIC. THOSE THAT TREAT PSORIASIS OR
DANDRUFF WOULD BE A DRUG. SO THAT THERE ARE A VARIETY OF
THINGS THAT PEOPLE MAY JUST NOT REALLY REALIZE THE NUANCE
BETWEEN WHAT’S A DRUG AND WHAT’S A COSMETIC.>>WHAT DO YOU THINK PEOPLE KNOW
THE LEAST ABOUT WHAT YOU DO AND YOUR OFFICE DOES THAT YOU WANT
THEM TO KNOW ABOUT?>>PROBABLY THE LEAST THAT THEY
KNOW IS ABOUT, REALLY, HOW COLORS — NOT COLORS SO MUCH —
BUT COSMETICS GET ON THE MARKETPLACE. I THINK THAT CONSUMERS THINK
THAT WE DO APPROVE COSMETICS, AND WE DON’T. AND THAT THAT’S REALLY ONE PART
THAT’S REALLY IMPORTANT, BUT THAT WE DO GO THROUGH AND LOOK,
AND IF SOMETHING ISN’T SAFE, WE WE WILL GO AND WE WILL GO
THROUGH THE LEGAL ASPECTS THAT WE CAN TO GET THAT INGREDIENT
OR THAT PRODUCT OFF THE MARKET.>>WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR
FRUSTRATIONS?>>PROBABLY SOME OF THE
FRUSTRATIONS ARE FRUSTRATIONS THAT ANYTHING HAS, IS THAT WITH
GOVERNMENT, SOMETIMES IT TAKES A LONG TIME TO GET THINGS DONE
THE WAY THAT YOU WANT THEM TO HAPPEN. THAT WE SHARE, PROBABLY,
THE SAME FRUSTRATIONS THAT CONSUMERS DO, THAT WE’D LIKE
SOMETHING TO HAPPEN YESTERDAY, AND IT MAY TAKE THREE DAYS FROM
NOW BEFORE SOMETHING DOES HAPPEN, AND THAT’S PROBABLY OUR
BIGGEST FRUSTRATION. BUT IN GENERAL, MOST OF
THE PRODUCTS THAT ARE COSMETICS THAT ARE USED ARE GENERALLY
SAFE, AND IF THEY WEREN’T, THEY WOULD NOT BE ON THE MARKETPLACE.>>WHAT EXCITES YOU ABOUT
YOUR WORK?>>BASICALLY, IT’S TO KNOW THAT
WHAT WE’RE DOING IN MY OFFICE AND WHAT I’M DOING IS TO ASSURE
THAT PEOPLE ARE USING PRODUCTS THAT ARE SAFE. STARTING OFF AS A PHYSICIAN, AND
ACTUALLY I STARTED ON THE DRUG SIDE IN FDA, THAT WHAT I CAME TO
THE AGENCY FOR WAS FOR THE IDEA THAT IT’S IMPORTANT TO MAKE SURE
THAT PEOPLE ARE USING PRODUCTS THAT ARE SAFE, AND I LIKE TO
BELIEVE THAT I CONTINUE THAT ROLE IN MY ROLE AS THE DIRECTOR
FOR THE OFFICE OF COSMETICS AND COLORS.

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